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Evangelion The Movie

Evangelion is probably one of the best-looking anime movies of all time.  Every scene glimmers with beautiful colors and spectacular action. And all of the characters manage to emote so purposefully you’ll be amazed that such depth of feeling can be conveyed without live action players.

Many people who take Anime very seriously would tell you that it is impossible to take the genre seriously if you have not seen this movie, or the original series that the movie was based on.

The plot of the movie is simple enough, but how the conflict is played out, is actually quite elaborate and nuanced.  Here is a brief synopsis of the plot.

The time is 2015 A.D., and it has been more than a decade after the Second Impact. The Second Impact is a planet-wide catastrophe that’s said to have been caused by a meteorite that hit the earth.

Mysterious beings known as Angels are attacking, and they can’t be stopped using conventional weapons. Mankind’s sole chance for survival lies in a humanoid fighting machine called the Evangelion. But children born exactly nine months after the Second Impact can only pilot the Eva units.

To top it off, every Angel that appears is much more advanced than its predecessor, and the Evas can’t defeat it using the same method twice. It’s a question of how long humanity can hold off the Angels... and ultimately, the end of the world. 

The plot of the movie is a pretty good example of many of the post-war themes that have emerged in Japan and explicitly in the Anime genre.  Like Akira and many other Anime movies, the world has been torn apart by an apocalyptic war that has given birth to a new almost golden age of civilization.

Obviously, the whole nasty business with Hiroshima and Nagasaki has left their imprint on the entertainment industry.  But the utopian rebirth is also a sign of the sprawling optimism that permeates Japanese culture to the core.

It is also interesting that only children born after the apocalypse can pilot the Eva machines and therefore the destiny of their world is in their hands.  This is a clue as to how poorly the Japanese elders felt after the Second World War.  They felt that they had failed their society and that only their children’s good deeds could redeem them.

Of course, beyond all of this, the movie is one excellent action flick.  There are plenty of exploding things and great fights between humans and aliens…you know the sexy stuff.  So I would suggest that you check this movie out and chances are if you are not a big fan of the genre you will be.